Family Research Council

March 20, 2014 - Thursday

State ID-ology Wins Big in Court

There are plenty of threats to democracy, but what happens in the voting booth shouldn't be one of them. In the wild west of polling stations, voter fraud has never been easier to commit -- and with Left's all-out war on proof-of-citizenship laws, never harder to stop. Even with 70% of Americans on their side, states that try to enact even the mildest forms of election accountability -- like voter ID laws -- run into the brick wall of the Obama administration. Like most liberals, this White House's most reliable supporters are the ones who aren't even eligible to vote: the dead, illegal, or relocated.

To crackdown on fraud, officials in Arizona and Kansas applied a little common sense: they asked voters to show proof of citizenship before they cast their ballots. Not surprisingly, liberal groups -- who object to any form of election integrity -- sued Arizona, arguing the law is too burdensome on low-income and minority voters. Of course, their logic is absurd in a country that demands identification for everything from pet adoption to prescription pick-ups. Americans have to show an ID to get behind the wheel, but when it comes to driving America in a new direction, the Left rejects any hint of accountability.

After a long and bitter legal battle, the case finally landed in the lap of the U.S. Supreme Court. By a vote of 7-2, the justices agreed on a complicated ruling that partially sided with the Obama administration but also left the door open for states like Kansas and Arizona to sue again -- which they did late last year. Yesterday, the states drew first blood -- winning a major victory in federal court from Judge Eric Melgren. "The states, not Congress, set the voter qualifications for federal elections," he wrote. In particular, he explained that while the states do have to use a national voter registration form, the Election Assistance Commission also had to add "state-specific instructions" to that application. In other words, the federal government has to help -- not hinder -- these states in enforcing their voter ID laws.

For the President and his party, who both benefit from our sloppy election system and the cheating it encourages, this decision is a huge blow. Predictably, liberal groups fumed over the ruling, which they insist will disenfranchise potential voters. "What this ruling does now," grumbled Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo (D), "is makes it more difficult for this segment of voters, students, to vote." Listen, if students are as motivated to vote as they are to buy alcohol, then acquiring an ID shouldn't be a problem. Applying a form of identification in the age of technology isn't nearly as difficult as the Left makes it out to be.

As Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon (R) said, "One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen is the right to vote. For these reasons, it is critical that we uphold the integrity of our voter registration system by ensuring only U.S. citizens are permitted to cast a ballot." That's why this week's ruling is so important. "This is a really big victory, not just for Kansas and Arizona," said Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, "but for all 50 states. Kansas has paved the way for all states to enact proof-of-citizenship requirements." Let's hope they do. We all have a stake in making the democratic system an honest one.

Fundamentally Trans-forming America

If the forces of political correctness get their way, the drag show at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan may be a sign of things to come in the Obama military. As part of last week's panel discussion at the Palm Center, activists announced their next mission for the U.S. military: open transgendered service. Calling it the next "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," extremists argue that it's time to lift the ban on servicemen who dress as women and visa versa. Using wildly inflated (and unverifiable) numbers, the panel estimated that 15,000 service members "self-identify as another gender" and suffer in silence under the current policy.

"We are determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard, and reserve components," said former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. Regardless of the medical considerations, there are very compelling security reasons for the ban, which prevent the widespread disruption and distraction that open transgenderism would cause. And although the Pentagon sought to reassure Americans that overturning the policy is not a priority, the reality is that anything is possible under a commander-in-chief that uses his nation's fighting force as a battleground for social experimentation.

Considering the explosion of sexual abuse and assault in the ranks in the past few years, this latest push could be a fatal blow to unit cohesion and readiness. Imagine the chaos -- and risks -- of putting transgender soldiers in barracks, showers, and other situations that could compromise our troops' safety. The Pentagon downplayed the effects of open homosexuality when it was implemented in 2011 -- something it will have a tough time doing now, with the rate of male-on-male assaults at a record high.

For now, it looks like the military will have relatively no help fixing its most fundamental problem, which Marine General James Amos foreshadowed during his testimony in 2010: "To add any element of sexual competition, sexuality, or hesitance in trust would unquestionably prevent the military bonds -- and destroy [them]." Now, that nightmare is the military's reality. And adding another layer of sexual dysfunction would only undermine the reputation of a military that our service members have sacrificed so much to achieve.

Save the Date!

In the last eight years,FRC Action's Values Voter Summit has rocketed up the ladder as one of the most influential gatherings of conservatives in America. If you care about limited government, national security, and traditional values, there's no better place to be on September 26-28 than the biggest pro-family event in Washington, D.C. Today, registration officially opened for the ninth Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, co-sponsored by AFA Action, Liberty Institute, American Values, Liberty Counsel, and Liberty Counsel Action.

Since 2006, the Summit has featured some of the brightest stars of the conservative movement, including: the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential candidates, Govs. Jan Brewer, Bobby Jindal, and Mike Huckabee; Sens. Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz; Speaker John Boehner; Rep. Paul Ryan; Dr. Ben Carson; Dr. Bill Bennett; Sean Hannity; Glenn Beck; David Limbaugh; Bill O'Reilly; Ben Stein; Mark Levin; Laura Ingraham; Kirk Cameron; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Lila Rose; and more. Tickets start at just $99 for adults and $50 for students -- and if you register before April 30th, we'll even knock $15 off the price! Log on to ValuesVoterSummit.org or call 877-372-2808.

** CNN lost a magnet of controversy in Piers Morgan. Find out what Ken Blackwell has to say about the ousted host in his new Townhall column, "Piers Morgan Missed His Target in America."


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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